According to officials, the tank was holding a cabernet sauvignon produced at the Rodney Strong Vineyards. The leak, which was reported at around 2:30 p.m. local time Thursday, made its way into the Russian River, which flows into the Pacific Ocean.
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State officials said that the caller who first notified authorities about the spill said that a “blending tank door popped out for unknown reasons and released 97,112 [gallons] of wine into Reiman Creek,” the Sacramento Bee reported. According to estimates from the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, more than 97,000 gallons of wine made their way into the Russian River. However, several reports have noted that Rodney Strong claims that only 20% to 25% of the tank’s capacity made it into the river.
In a statement Thursday, Rodney Strong Vineyards spokesperson Chris O’Gorman expressed the company’s concern over the spill.
“We are deeply concerned and are doing everything in our power to protect our waterways,” Chris O’Gorman said, according to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. The winery is currently conducting an investigation into the incident.
The spill was responded to by the Healdsburg Fire Department and the Sonoma County Fire Services Department.
“The uncertainty was how much of that made it into the creek and how much into the sanitary sewer system inside the facility,” Sonoma County Fire Battalion Chief Mike Elson said, the Press Democrat reported. “But there was a large, substantial amount into the creek and river.”
Rodney Strong founded the winery back in 1959, and it was purchased by the Klein family in 1989, according to the company’s website.